Give Peace a Chance: two book reviews

I have given this post a lot of thought before sitting down and putting fingers to keyboard.  The subject bears thought and reflection so as not to be offensive to others or appear arrogant in any way.  I certainly don’t want to offend; my goal is for peace, a characteristic worthy of imitation and nearly impossible to maintain in any given situation.   Remember John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” ?   He knew it wasn’t easy to obtain.  Apparently from the beginning of time, peace has been a rare commodity.  Just think about all the wars and conflict of the Old Testament, almost all in the name of God, or gods, as it were.  It’s our human nature to disagree.  Sad, isn’t it?  I wonder why that is?  I wonder what God thinks of it.  Well duh, that’s a no-brainer.

I was able to purchase a couple of books recently, both of the Spirit, both by local authors, and both self-published.  Now, you know I perked up when I realized that, as I have penned a few books myself and intend to self-publish at least one of them.  So I’m really interested to read other self-published author’s work.  I have to admit, as well, that I enjoy reading Christian books, especially during times when the skies seem a little more cloudy rather than sunny, metaphorically speaking.  So my purchase of both of these books had me looking forward to the soothing balm I knew they would provide for my sore soul.

By means of this post, I intend to offer book reviews for both of them.  One is good, one not so good.  Both are from the heart.  Keep in mind that these comments are my own and any opinion you form from them must be your own.  I expect when I am published, not everyone will like my work.  That’s ok.  I do, and for me, (not to sound arrogant) that’s enough.  My book is #1 on my bucket list.  Hopefully it will be in print before I kick that bucket!  But anyway, you get what I mean.

I started reading WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE BELLY OF A WHALE by Beth Whittington first and found that it is the kind of book that you savor it’s deliciousness slowly.  I discovered you can read straight through it or pick it up now and then, reading bits and pieces here and there.  There are golden nuggets on every page.  Ms. Beth is a survivor of cancer and has certainly been gifted with a fine ability to discern the good that God meant to come from her trials.  Actually, not only her trials, but also her triumphs.  The insight this woman has is amazing and her talent in writing is very special, indeed.  I have never met Ms. Beth but I love her even so.  I would like to say we are kindred spirits in that we both love and serve the same God, He who has our best interest at heart and our names carved on the palm of His hand.  He is like that with all of us, you know.   You are as precious to our loving God as Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead.  The life of the unborn means as much to Him as Abraham of the Old Testament.  {Let me share this with you and then I will get back to the book review:  I read somewhere today that Jesus became human at the moment of His conception – not His birth, but His CONCEPTION.  Now, that’s a good argument for Pro-Life, don’t you think?}

The second book I read was written by a former co-worker of mine.   I started to keep her name and title of her book anonymous but then I thought of how unfair that would be.  I don’t agree with everything she wrote in her book, but she has good intentions and does a fair job of bringing knowledge of the Holy Spirit from her heart and soul to the pages of THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF GOD (by Constance Johnson).  As I said, I knew Connie years ago and have always loved her.  She is the kind of woman people are attracted to.  She has always had a magnetism and personality that tickled people and made them want to be her new best friend.  She has a physical beauty that draws the attention of everyone around her.  She can’t help it, that’s how beautiful God made her.   While I am in agreement with a lot of what Connie writes, I don’t agree with her beliefs about the Catholic Church, or dare I say, any other church.  For each negative comment she writes, I can dispute it with scripture and common sense.  Of course, I realize that people are going to interpret scripture in their own way, but there were some comments that are blatantly untrue.  Example:  On page 17, Connie states that Catholics were told they could not read the Bible because with any comprehension it would turn them crazy.  Really??  It’s hard to believe that it may have been that way years ago.  I hate to think that it was.  As a Catholic, I can testify that we are encouraged to read the Bible.  In fact, scriptures from the Bible are in every missilette for every Mass every single day.  Let me say at this point that I know it is obvious that I am a bit defensive about the way this author perceives the Catholic Church as being and the way that it actually is.  Please forgive me if I sound too over the top.  The further in the book I read, the more erroneous and offensive it became.  On page 164, she states that God told her that the sins of Catholics are unforgiven.  That cannot be true.  We profess our love for Jesus Christ and the truth that He died so our sins will be forgiven for that very reason alone.

Whew!  I can cite more conflicting examples but I am going to close this so-called book review because it does not bring peace to my soul.  This morning at Mass, God said  “Peace I have, My peace I give you”.   I don’t believe it is in God’s plan for my soul to be up ended or upset over one person’s opinions.   My humanity wants to take a stand and defend His holy honor.  But my spirit chooses His peace  (even though I am a Bible thumping, prayer meeting going, praying in tongues kind of forgiven Catholic).

Let us pray for one another, people.  Let us love one another.  Let us live by the Spirit and with God’s love.   Pray for peace.

The Nicene Prayer

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic (meaning universal), and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Give Peace a Chance: two book reviews

  1. Your book review on Constance S. Johnson’s book was mildly stated. It was very confusing to me. She grew up in the Catholic Church and was obviously not paying attention! I wonder what spirit she was hearing.

  2. How about “the stupid tax” imposed on anyone who professes liberal beliefs, about anything. Since liberals are at faults for almost every problem facing America (or pretty much any western country) today.

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